Stalin calls for unity in INDIA bloc to defeat BJP

Updated - February 08, 2024 01:06 am IST

Published - January 27, 2024 12:48 am IST - TIRUCHI

Joining hands: Chief Minister M.K. Stalin receiving the ‘torch of democracy’ from VCK leader Thol. Thirumavalavan.

Joining hands: Chief Minister M.K. Stalin receiving the ‘torch of democracy’ from VCK leader Thol. Thirumavalavan. | Photo Credit: M. MOORTHY

Making a strong pitch for unity among the partners of the Opposition INDIA bloc in the face of the fissures in the alliance, Chief Minister M.K. Stalin said on Friday that removing the “autocratic” BJP rule at the Centre should be the sole aim of the allies, irrespective of the divergent political situation in different States.

“Political situations will differ from State to State. But we are now facing the Lok Sabha election. All of us should act keeping in mind who should come to power at the Centre. Preventing the BJP from returning to power should be the sole aim of all of us. On no account should there be a split in anti-BJP votes,” he told leaders of the alliance, who had gathered at the ‘Democracy will win’ conference hosted by the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi in Tiruchi. It was important to identify not only the enemy but also traitors to the people, he added.

Mr. Stalin contended that if the BJP came to power again, there would be no federalism and no parliamentary democracy. “There won’t be States even; they will reduce the States to municipal corporations. We saw how Jammu and Kashmir was dismembered and divided into Union Territories. The other States too could face such a situation. This is the BJP’s style and they will even make India an autocratic state...,” he said. We have to realise the crisis we are faced with,” Mr. Stalin said.

Claiming that the BJP feared defeat, Mr. Stalin said the Mayor’s election in Chandigarh was “cancelled” as the Congress-AAP combine was set to emerge victorious. When the “north Indian media” started writing that it would be the first victory of the INDIA bloc, they cancelled the election.

“If they could go to the extent of cancelling even a Mayor’s election, the INDIA bloc leaders should realise how scared the BJP is and take full advantage of the opportunity. If we stand united, the BJP will be defeated and democracy will win,” he said.

He accused the BJP government at the Centre of bringing shame to India on the world stage by suspending 140 Opposition MPs. “The INDIA bloc is not just an alliance against a single party. Our aim is to protect democracy in the country, secularism, diversity and the poor. The BJP is zero in Tamil Nadu; but we have to defeat the BJP across the country and save democracy,” he said.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the BJP was trying to create a unitary State by destroying the federal structure of the country. CPI general secretary D. Raja, referring to the suspension of MPs from Parliament, said, “If Parliament becomes redundant, democracy dies. Secular parties should come together to save the constitutional rights.”

CPI(ML) general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya said the BJP was subverting and decimating the Constitution. TNCC president K.S. Alagiri said inequality existed in India for several centuries, and it were leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi and B.R. Ambedkar who took steps to attain political equality. CPI(M) State secretary K. Balakrishnan; CPI State Secretary R. Mutharasan; Dravidar Kazhagam leader K. Veeramani; VCK founder Thol. Thirumavalavan; MDMK leader Vaiko; and others participated.

Resolutions adopted

The abolition of the post of Governor was among the resolutions adopted by the VCK at the meeting. Urging the INDIA bloc to promise the voters that it would abolish the post if it came to power, Mr. Thirumavalavan said, “Governors often act as agents of the party in power at the Centre and interfere in the governance of a State. They are used to destabilise or dismiss elected governments and cause splits in parties that are not to the liking of the ruling party at the Centre.”

Advocating proportional representation as the “first past the post electoral system undermined equality of votes”, the party rejected the One Nation, One Election proposal and sought dissolution of the Ram Nath Kovind Committee formed to look into the feasibility of simultaneous polls to State Assemblies and the Lok Sabha.

Opposing the opening of the incomplete Ram temple at Ayodhya for political reasons, the party urged the Centre to ensure construction of the mosque as per the Supreme Court directive.

The BJP has harmed democracy and usurped democratic institutions, it said, calling upon the people to reject the majoritarian politics of the party and vote out the regime in the Lok Sabha election.

It also urged the Centre to conduct a caste-wise census and increase the quota for SCs/STs and OBCs based on enumeration.

It also sought the dismantling of the National Investigation Agency as it allowed the Centre to intervene in the State government’s policing powers, and the roll back of the Goods and Services Tax.

Various other resolutions, including demand for reservation for SCs/STs in the Rajya Sabha and the Union and State Cabinets; ensuring social justice in judicial appointments; empowering States to appoint High Court judges; abolition of NEET; enacting a legislation providing reservation in the private sector; laws to prevent “honour killings” and targeted communal violence; and issuing of caste certificates to tribals; and action against those who engage tribals as bonded labourers; were adopted.

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